Friday, October 18, 2013
More Businesses Using Mobile Card Readers For Payment
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Electronic payment services that employ portable card readers that can be attached to smartphones and other devices are gaining popularity among business owners, helped by their accessibility and low fees.
The global market for payment services via mobile devices is seen growing 44% in 2013 to 235.4 billion dollars, and will likely reach 721 billion dollars in 2017, according to U.S. research firm Gartner Inc.
- Square entered the Japanese market in May.
PayPal Inc., operating under eBay Inc., and Square Inc. -- set up in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who also co-founded the microblogging site Twitter -- offer such services. Square launched the service in Japan this past May.
While the fee for business owners using conventional credit card payment services is about 8%, Square charges only 3.25%. Fast Retailing Co.'s (9983) Uniqlo Co. has adopted the U.S. firm's payment service for a limited time at select locations.
Japanese companies such as Rakuten Inc. (4755) and start-up Coiney Inc. provide their own mobile payment services.
The low fees are a strong selling point for small business owners. And the portability of the card reader makes it accessible anywhere as long as a smartphone is used.
Small restaurants, mobile operations and other businesses that have not offered a credit card payment option could easily do so now. Package deliverers and tour guides in mountainous areas use the service, too.
Users of Rakuten's mobile payment service include a house wife who runs a nail salon out of her home and farmers who sell crops directly to consumers.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, Oct. 18 edition)